#HappyFlow Moday: How are your communities making provision for sanitary wear during the current COVID-19 pandemic?
As the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic makes its way into more countries and communities, we asked network members how their communities are making plans and provisions for ensuring menstrual dignity.
||Rebecca Achieng - Kenya
Covid-19 is amongst us and it is of paramount importance that we ensure we react in all facets of SRHR. In my community in Mombasa county, there are youth leaders who have volunteered to offer free sanitary wear to young girls who are unable to access it during this period.
As a young girl, the Adolescent Officer of Stretchers Youth Organization as well as the founder of Power Girls, l have also started an initiative of menstrual banking where we ask well wishers to donate money to buy sanitary wear. I have seen it succeeding! This week on the 9th of April we will be distributing sanitary wear to the vulnerable girls in the surrounding slum areas.
||Precious Shongwe - Eswatini
As the world faces the pandemic (COVID-19) many countries are having lockdowns, and many girls and women are faced with the challenge of access to sanitary wear - Eswatini is not spared from this challenge. We are seeing certain community leaders ensuring that girls who were accessing sanitary pads at school are able to receive their packages at the community level. Non governmental organisations are also ensuring that their beneficiaries do not run out of stock.
No gatherings of more than 20 people are allowed in communities and workers are also conscious of their safety at this time. This has knock-on effects, and it is understandable, but it will result in a number of girls and young women not having sanitary wear, meaning that they have to find other materials to substitute for sanitary wear e.g cloth, tissues or newspapers, which means that this is no longer a safe period for them.
As society, stakeholders and partners we need to remember that sanitary wear is an essential service and girls and young women will always be a vulnerable population.
During this lockdown it is our duty to ensure that girls and women have an adequate supply of sanitary wear and have a safe period.
||Busiku Handema - Zambia
Covid-19 safety measures have been put in place in my community. Some of the good measures put in place to ensure women and girls have a dignified period include having good water supply in low, medium and high income homes.
We still have a constant supply of sanitary products and soap, coupled with good hygiene measures for one to access the products without risk of contracting the disease.
However for most low income homes, especially for those who are unable to work because of the pandemic, it's very difficult for them to purchase these products as they have been hit hardest by Covid-19 and only a few have access to re-usable sanitary products.